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  1. #1
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    650b, Really is the "sweet spot" of bicycle wheel sizes AFAIC

    Here is the coolest thing since sliced bread. It is a limited edition singlespeed that Surly put out celebrating their 11th anniversary. It is their 1X1 frame which was originally known as the "Rat Ride". So it has the repro decals and came with the 24" large Marge rims and 3" slicks. I put some Felt Berm Masters on and it is a great ride with the 3" knobbies having a circumference of 26". This configuration is sometimes referred to as the "Pugsley Jr."

    Variety being the spice of life, I built up a set of 26" wheels for it and ran them too. I kept reading about the 650b and was intrigued. I ended up going for it and gambled on ripping the 26" wheels apart to build a set of 650b (27 1/2") wheels. A set of Pacenti Neo Moto 2.3 tires and I turned out a winner. I've given up the 26" wheel and truth be told think that , for me, the 650b is better than the 29er.

    You get the acceleration of the 26 with the momentum and rolling over stuff advantages of the 29er but no sacrifice in nimbleness and handling in the technical areas. The first pic is the Rat Ride with the bad to the bone 650b wheels/tires, the second with the 24" and the last with the 26". It is true that there is a limited selection of tires and wheels but the 35mm P35 Velocity Blunts are a helluva rim and the tires that are available are really great. So if anyone is into it I highly recommend taking the plunge.




  2. #2
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    4 season bike

    Really nice, a bike for all seasons

  3. #3
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    I have a 1x1=11 as well. I've been toying with building a set of P35's with a Rohloff in the rear. I think it would be a sweet combo.

    How are the Berm Masters? I had a set on order, but the place just keep delaying me, so I canceled the order. They look really cool on your Rat.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by isahnisahn
    I have a 1x1=11 as well. I've been toying with building a set of P35's with a Rohloff in the rear. I think it would be a sweet combo.

    How are the Berm Masters? I had a set on order, but the place just keep delaying me, so I canceled the order. They look really cool on your Rat.
    They are real good AFAIC. I run the front at relatively low pressure and the cush take the edge off the ridged fork. More pressure , but not too much more, in my rear tire and I've got good traction and acceleration as well as a bit of cush as well. Never yet washed out in a corner wet or dry, nor in loose stuff or sandy conditions. Plenty of the latter down my way. Holding up well in terms of wear too. I'd buy them again.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tat2niner
    They are real good AFAIC. I run the front at relatively low pressure and the cush take the edge off the ridged fork. More pressure , but not too much more, in my rear tire and I've got good traction and acceleration as well as a bit of cush as well. Never yet washed out in a corner wet or dry, nor in loose stuff or sandy conditions. Plenty of the latter down my way. Holding up well in terms of wear too. I'd buy them again.

    Good to know, I guess I'll give them a shot. I really wish there were a few more fat tires to chose from in 24". I would really love to shove the Rohloff in the Large Marge's.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tat2niner
    You get the acceleration of the 26 with the momentum and rolling over stuff advantages of the 29er but no sacrifice in nimbleness and handling in the technical areas.
    As much a fan of the wheel size as I am, I always chuckle when I see claims like this. Sorry but there is nothing magical about this wheel size. It's only a choice in between two existing standard sizes. That's it. You don't get to take only the benefits of both and the negatives of neither, don't work that way unfortunately

    I do greatly enjoy 650b though, and although it's probably not the ideal size for many shorter or taller riders, it's likely a great fit for a good number of riders in between.

    Nice bike btw, looks like a lot of fun!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by salimoneus
    As much a fan of the wheel size as I am, I always chuckle when I see claims like this. Sorry but there is nothing magical about this wheel size. It's only a choice in between two existing standard sizes. That's it. You don't get to take only the benefits of both and the negatives of neither, don't work that way unfortunately

    I do greatly enjoy 650b though, and although it's probably not the ideal size for many shorter or taller riders, it's likely a great fit for a good number of riders in between.

    Nice bike btw, looks like a lot of fun!
    Of course it is only my perception. At 62 years of age I'm not as strong a rider as I would like to be. My perception of better acceleration and handling on the 26er than the 29er may have more to do with my own limitations than the size of the wheels and tires.

    I only know that I get around faster on the 650b than on the 29er and it handles better in the tight and twisty stuff for me. For me it out does the 26er based on my personal preferences and performance. Others may not have the same perception. Thats bike riding I guess.

  8. #8
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    FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE WHO BOUGHT INTO THE RAT RIDE! I thought I was the only one. Yours looks TIGHT! For such a badass (if not totally weird) bike, I'm surprised it didn't sell very well. I pimped mine out with a Rohloff and a good deal of red.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Spleen
    FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE WHO BOUGHT INTO THE RAT RIDE! I thought I was the only one. Yours looks TIGHT! For such a badass (if not totally weird) bike, I'm surprised it didn't sell very well. I pimped mine out with a Rohloff and a good deal of red.
    Thanks it is a great bike. I'm surprised it didn't sell well too. Got mine off of the bay for around $750.00 NIB if I remember correctly. I think the 24" wheels turned people off. Yours looks great with the Rohloff and must be a heck of a great street ride.

    Mine came with presta valves on the tubes and I couldn't find a spare with presta locally so I drilled out the rim for Schrader valves and replaced the tubes with 24x2.75-3.0' The original tubes weighed nearly 1 pound each. If anyone wants to run the trail with a Rat Ride I recommend replacing the original tubes. I'm no weight weenie but every little bit does help.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tat2niner
    The original tubes weighed nearly 1 pound each. If anyone wants to run the trail with a Rat Ride I recommend replacing the original tubes. I'm no weight weenie but every little bit does help.
    I accidentally ordered DH tubes for mine, the pair of tubes weighs almost 3lbs.

  11. #11
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    To the OP: Diggin' it a lot. I think I'd probably up the tires to the Nevegal 2.35s if I had your bike: Even more volume plus better traction than the Neos. Something to consider when you wear out the tires you have now.

    Nice work!
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

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